Headphones And Homiletics
What Does Sin Have To Do With It?
During Advent, we love to think about the little baby in a manger. We're reminded of the magi and the shepherds coming to worship the young son of Mary. Even more, Christmas gives us an opportunity to remember the incarnation of Jesus, which means that God the Son became a man.
One thing that doesn't often come to our minds at Christmas is sin. Who wants to dampen the holiday joy by talking about something depressing like sin? It isn't usually at the top of the list for Christmas dinner conversations, huh?
We don't have the choice to ignore sin at Christmas because it is the very reason Jesus came.
Sin Has Devastating Effects
If you've been following the Advent reading guide I posted last week, you may have found it strange that an Advent guide took us back to the garden of Eden and spends four more days talking about sin. This wasn't by accident.
What we see in Genesis 3:1-19 is that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned. Sin hindered their relationship with God and they were no longer at peace with Him. By Genesis 6:5, sin is so ugly that it has consumed the hearts of all people. When sin entered through Adam and Eve, death came to us all. Every single one of us has a death sentence waiting for us because of sin (Romans 6:23).
God is perfectly holy and perfectly just. This means He must punish sin (Job 34:1-10). This news is heartbreaking for every person alive. The 7 billion people living on this planet deserve the punishment for sin right now, and the Holy God of scripture can't just sweep it under the rug. No matter how we think we can get around it, unless God forgives us, we have no hope (Mark 2:7).
What's In A Name?
As you consider the birth of Jesus, you may easily overlook a momentous scene tucked neatly into Matthew's gospel. After Joseph found out his betrothed virgin Mary was pregnant, he was considering silently divorcing her. It was in this moment that God stepped in and sent a message that was utterly earthshaking:
"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Did you catch it? Jesus came to solve humanity's greatest problem—sin. Jesus' name means, "Yahweh (or Jehovah) saves." He is the Savior who "will save his people from their sins."
The atoning work of Jesus is found in His very name! What a glorious reminder this Christmas that the eternal Son of God didn't just come to be a carpenter, preach good messages, do good deeds, heal sick bodies, and provide an example of good morality. Far more than that, He came to die on a cross to save people from sin and restore them to a relationship with the triune (three-in-one) God of the Universe.
Have you been saved from sin? When is the last time you thanked God for that? Share the testimony of Christ's work in your life with friends and family this Christmas season!
Advent 2018 is underway this year, and many Christians are in search of devotional tools to help them focus on Jesus this holiday season. One of my goals is to point you to good books and other great resources to benefit you and the people close to you as you pursue a deeper relationship with Christ.
Love Came Down At Christmas by Sinclair Ferguson brings the message of Christ’s love to you in a unique and special way. Rather than simply focusing on traditional Christmas themes or sections of scripture, Ferguson chose to walk readers through 1 Corinthians 13—the Bible’s famous love chapter.
He reminds us that the words of 1 Corinthians 13 can profoundly move us during the Advent season. We are shown that “when you slow them down, and read them phrase by phrase, and apply them to yourself, they transpose into a different key altogether. They cease to be rhetorically pleasing and emotionally soothing; instead they become an analysis of your spiritual life. They are deeply challenging” (p. 11).
Each day, you get a little bit of exposition, Ferguson’s warm personality and affectionate teaching style, and Christ-focused application. You also get some helpful reflection questions and poetic prayers from various saints throughout church history. The concise, truth-packed chapters are a wonderful way to start each day leading up to Christmas.
If you want a soul-searching, heart-warming devotional this Advent season, look no further than Love Came Down At Christmas. It’s still early, so you can order your copy on Kindle or paperback today!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review.
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Chrys Jones is a Christian, husband, father of three, pastor, and teacher. He is also a recording artist and producer for Christcentric Records and a book briefer for Accelerate Books. In his free time, Chrys loves to spend time with his family, roast coffee, read good books, and listen to beat tapes and jazz.